from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Free from coarseness or vulgarity; polite.
  • adj. Free of impurities; purified.
  • adj. Precise to a fine degree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Showing or having good feelings or good taste.
  • adj. An absence of coarseness.
  • adj. Not vulgar.
  • adj. Without impurities.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of refine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Freed from impurities or alloy; purifed; polished; cultured; delicate; as; refined gold; refined language; refined sentiments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Purified; elevated; cultivated; subtle: as. a refined taste; a refined discrimination; refined society.
  • Very exact or precise; perfect or correct in details.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience
  • adj. free from what is tawdry or unbecoming
  • adj. suggesting taste, ease, and wealth
  • adj. freed from impurities by processing
  • adj. (used of persons and their behavior) cultivated and genteel


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • These soft-spoken elements are what I call refined.

    Thom Filicia Style

  • You come along with me and I'll introduce you (he's not what you call a refined sort of feller, yer know, 'he explained forbearingly,' but still we've always been friends in a way); you can't stop?

    The Giant's Robe

  • "He was very refined in his conversation -- at least, what I call refined -- for he was one of those persons in whose society one is comfortable from the certainty that they will never say anything which can shock other people, or hurt their feelings, be they ever so fastidious or sensitive."

    Life of Charles Dickens

  • Webster’s defines the word refined as “free from impurities.”

    Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

  • Several cotton blouses looked refined from the front, but left the back bare — a trick he used in this season's No. 21 line as well.

    Imagining the Brioni Woman

  • However, Norman Residence is an exotic-looking wooden house covered not only in refined cedar but also in glass and hardipanel.

    Organic Wooden House : The Dang Residence

  • Mr. McCain refined his position to focus on securing the borders first before tackling other immigration questions.

    McCain Ad Reaches Out to Hispanics - The Caucus Blog -

  • I had to jump over to the dictionary to look up the word refined to make sure we are all on the same page.

    Dlisted - Be Very Afraid

  • * A diet high in refined carbohydrates and other "fabricated" foods leads to both increased weight and increased inflammation.

    More Stress, Depression & Health

  • A diet high in refined cereals, and bread in particular, is associated with an elevated risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the main type of kidney cancer, according to a study in Italy.

    High Bread Consumption Tied to Kidney Cancer | Impact Lab


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  • "...

    they speak whatever's on their mind

    they do whatever's in their pants

    the boys i mean are not refined

    they shake the mountains when they dance"

    e.e. cummings

    September 16, 2009